Dinner with Friends
A design-focused, quarterly lifestyle magazine celebrating California's Central Valley, one dinner party at a time.




In this weekly blog offering, DWF's founder, Kendra, speaks from the heart about her decision to leave Fresno in the midst of creating a magazine based on her love for the city and surrounding Central Valley. (Yes, it's confusing to her, too.) But above all, she's committed to continuing the magazine's mission. And instead of dwelling, as it is best not to do, she's celebrating the ways her new city reflects her hometown, and how Fresno is never really that far away.

PLANNING A DINNER PARTY REMOTELY / Planning a dinner party is a lot of work. Planning a dinner party remotely, to be shot and documented for the magazine you started in your hometown before you decided to take a job out of state, is just shy of madness. Fun semi-madness. But a little bonkers all the same.

You see, the ideas are in one place (Seattle), while their real-world manifestations are coming alive a thousand miles away (Fresno). I equate it to that scene on the bus in Speed. Should I be more specific? haha I'm talking about the point in the movie where the bus is hurtling down a Los Angeles freeway and Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves have just been informed that a section of the road ahead is missing. And because there's a bomb on the bus that will explode if it slows down, their only option is to launch the bus into the air and hope it makes it over the gap. 

The bomb in my case is failure. It's letting this huge dream of mine die because it's too hard. So I keep the bus at a steady 65mph because I cannot let that happen. And my only option at this point, with the unfinished freeway ahead, is to hit the gas and make an attempt for the other side. What happens after that has yet to be seen. But I hope it involves kissing Keanu Reeves. 

Currently, with about two and a half weeks to go until the dinner party, I feel like I'm hovering somewhere between Sides A and B of the incomplete freeway. Below me, certain death. But Side B is just a few precious feet away. And I want to get there. So, in the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson (who is not in Speed, but I just can't help myself), "hold on to your butts."

SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't seen Speed: The bus makes it to the other side, and Sandy and Keanu get together at the end after a harrowing ordeal on a subway train. So I'm imagining a similarly happy ending for the inaugural Dinner with Friends dinner party. 

How's that for exploiting a metaphor. 

Kendra Gilbert